The Collateral Damage of the Energy and Security Act
June 16th, 2011

Posted under Alpenglow Lighting Design News

The Energy and Security Act of 2007 has gained attention recently (despite its age, people seem to have suddenly discovered it), and while there has been a great deal of teeth gnashing and lightbulb hoarding, no one has addressed the approaching death of a cultural phenomenon: the lightbulb joke.

When we switch over to long-life LEDs for our light sources, we will extend lamp life from about 1,000 hours to 50,000 hours. Commercially, this is over 10 years, and residentially, over 20. My 4-year-old son will be out of college before my new LEDs burn out, so he will rarely, if ever, change a lightbulb.

He just won’t get jokes like:

Q: How many telemark skiers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 4. One to do it, the others to say, “Sweet turns, bro.”

Q: How many ski instructors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 4. One to do it, the others to tell them how they did it wrong.

Q: How many union stage hands does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Straight show or musical?

As we leave Edison’s 1880 invention behind in history’s dustbin, and we replace it with light bulbs that no longer waste 90% of their energy as heat, we will lose this most cherished part of our culture. Sadly, the lightbulb joke will soon seem as dated and quaint as “You Might be a Redneck” and Saturday Night Live’s Belushi Era. All we’ll be left with is LOLZCats and Justin Bieber jokes.

Oh, the humanity.

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